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    Bit to Do

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    Photos by Terrence Humphrey

    So this is how I die. Alone in a box, “Final Destination”-ing 15 stories straight down onto a food truck, snapped cables spitting sparks — car-alarm applause. For this privilege I paid $14. It’s not how I expected I’d go. I’m not saying I thought I’d be lying on swan wings. But a hard, narrow bench covered in some kind of red suede, swinging back and forth in a glassed-in cage in the sky like an overripe fruit on a blustery day? Not the best vessel out of this world. They say six people can fit in one of these 36 “gondolas,” but I’m claustrophobic enough by myself. That view though — not bad. Yesterday it was winter, snowing, but today is a Norman Rockwell spring, the Ohio stirred up by recent floods into chocolate milk. The Big Four Bridge is below me. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flying blackbird from above before.

    Inside the wheel.

    But I can’t let scenery distract me from the inclement catastrophe. You know what rotated this thing up so high? A freaking car tire. At least, it looked like a car tire, rolling against the wheel near the base, where the operator is dreaming about the rare Mustangs parked in the lot. OK, so I don’t actually understand the mechanics of the traveling SkyStar Wheel, open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through May 6. I’m doing my best with what I can see up here at 137 feet. Maybe I could pry open the door after the car inevitably lurches downward and leap to that cable before it plummets. Maybe that little plastic yellow thingy outside is what’s going to fall apart. I hope the mother-daughter pair in the car behind me, now below me, now in front of me survives. The mom’s afraid of heights; they’re trying something new for her birthday.

    So this is how I die. We’ve gone around a full three times now, maybe a couple minutes per rotation, and though we’re thinking different things, I can tell the operator and I both know we’re nearing the end. I hope I don’t hit him on the way down. He’s got a Crown Vic he wants a second spotlight on, some new rims. Man, it’s gonna be the most tricked out Vic in the city.

    My box rock-a-bye-babys in the wind.


    The view from the top.

     

               

     

    Dylon Jones's picture

    About Dylon Jones

    Dylon Jones is an award-winning poet and essayist based in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as web editor of Louisville Magazine.

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